Maricopa County counted 19,000 late, invalid ballots in 2020 election, newly disgorged records show

In Arizona, votes must be received by the county by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Published: June 2, 2022 7:34am

Updated: November 7, 2022 6:02pm

Newly uncovered records reportedly show over 19,000 ballots in Arizona's Maricopa County in the 2020 elections were counted despite having been received after the deadline to be considered. 

In Arizona, the law requires that ballots be received by the county by 7 p.m. on Election Day. However, the county's "Early Voting Rejections Summary" shows it rejected just 934 late ballots of the more than 20,000 that were transported from the U.S. Postal Service after Election Day, according to the Epoch Times.

Arizona's electoral votes were counted in favor of then-Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, who won the presidency by 74 electoral votes. Biden won Arizona by about 10,500 votes. So the 19,000 ballots might have changed the outcome of the Arizona race, giving it to then-GOP incumbent President Trump. 

In addition to the Early Voting Rejections Summary, a volunteer group called Verity Vote obtained additional documents appearing to show after-deadline ballots were counted.

The Nov. 4 Receipt of Delivery shows 18,000 ballots were picked up from the Post Office, the day after the Nov. 3 election.

Though the document is dated Nov. 4, one day after the election, someone wrote at the top "Election Day" in what looks like different handwriting from the rest of the page, the Epoch Times also reports.

The county also documents receiving 1,000 ballots on Nov. 5 and 1,500 ballots on Nov. 6. Combined with the 18,000 ballots found on Nov. 4, the total documented late ballots were 20,500, according to the news outlet.

Clarification: The Maricopa County Elections Department said five days after this story was published, based on information for another news outlet, that the story is based on an official department document being misrepresented as to when the ballots were accepted. 

The form is in fact a receipt that confirms when early ballots in unopened envelopes – received prior to the deadline on Election Day – were handed off to a private vendor to be scanned, a department spokesperson told The Associated Press.  Runbeck Election Services also confirmed the purpose of the form, the wire service also reports.

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